Book Review: Not Now, Not Ever edited by Julia Gillard

For those of you who aren’t Australian, Julia Gillard was our first female Prime Minister. She took on the role with gusto and purpose batting away every critical and nasty comment about her physical appearance to her personal relationship as an unmarried childless woman. Hurtful and devastating to any women let alone the leader of our country. Yet Julia carried on until she didn’t. That day in 2012 when she finally stood up to the Opposition Leader and his party and called him out for his sexist behaviour not just to her but to all Australian women, was a momentous one inspiring a shift if just a little that day, but which has grown and inspired many since. Indeed, it as pertinent now as it was then reminding women everywhere around the world that enough is enough.

This book is about that speech but is so much more. Julia has brought together a collection of essays from other women some of whom admitted that the speech was a wake-up call for action. Jess Hill, a young journalist was asked to investigate domestic violence and once she began digging was horrified at what she found in homes and families around the country. In Barak Obama’s administration having to deal with constant racism, the speech was used to galvanise and inspire.  In homes around Australia, it made people sit up and think and commence action.

I was in a leadership role myself at the time, working in a mainly male team having had to battle sexism which was never apparent on the surface. There were policies in place. But I do remember that year, our organisation had all male leaders undergo an intensive course on changing their attitudes and behaviours around sexism in the workplace. It was a truly incredible thing for a corporate organisation to do.

“Sexism experienced is a societal problem impacting on people’s perceptions of safety, confidence, health and wellbeing.”  More importantly sexism reinforces women’s individual and social disadvantages and if we want a fairer happier society, then the move to gender equality is urgent. Unfortunately, for most countries and in Australia this is not forecast to be reached for at least 150 years. Too late for me or my daughters.

This book is an important one to read and it is easy to follow and understand, inspiring and educating us about how sexism and misogyny affect each and every one of us. So go and get this one, learn and act. It’ll help you to understand so that we all move our society in a better, fairer direction.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s